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I was exploring the theme of ” sleep and rest“, ” dream” & “escape” from Metamorphosis. Gregor was suffering from sleep deprived which ended with death. Besides, Gregor spend most of his time day dreaming and escaping from reality.

Sleep: Why We Need It and What Happens Without It

A video which contains scientific knowledge about lack of sleep.

another video of Scishow which covers Sleep paralysis, sleep walking and more disorders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P55WBVZ6hY4

Lucid Dreams

http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/how-to-control-your-dreams-infographic.html

This website provides detailed information about lucid dreams and ways to control it. Ways to control are: meditation, self hypnosis, lucid dream incubation, reality checks, dream journaling

Falling Dreams

http://dreammoods.com/cgibin/fallingdreams.pl?method=exact&header=dreamid&search=fallingintro

” falling is an indication of insecurities, instabilities, and anxieties. You are feeling overwhelmed and out of control in some situation in your waking life.”. It occurs during the first stage of sleep. “Dreams in this stage are often accompanied by muscle spasms of the arms, legs, and the whole body. These sudden contractions are also known as myclonic jerks. When you sometimes have these falling dreams, you may feel your whole body jerk or twitch and actually awaken from this jerk. It is thought that this jerking action is part of an arousal mechanism that allows you to wake up quickly and be on the alert to possible threats in the environment.”

Stages of sleep

http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/a/SleepStages.htm

Sleep Paralysis

http://becauseilive.hubpages.com/hub/Sleep-Paralysis-Symptoms–Causes-and-Treatment

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1544705/Flying-in-your-sleep-may-be-a-paralysis.html

http://paranormalandscience.weebly.com/sleep-paralysis.html

these website discuss about a person’s experience of sleep paralysis and explains the symptoms, causes and treatment. Sleep paralysis is the inability to perform voluntary muscle movements during sleep.  It is a temporary disconnect between the brain and the body. It occurs when the brain and body aren’t quite on the same page when it comes to sleep. It is to keep people from acting out their dreams. Sleep paralysis is not considered a dangerous health problem. Other names: Parasomnia – Isolated sleep paralysis

“Have you ever felt like you were awake but unable to move? You might have even felt afraid but could not call for help?”

Sleep paralysis theory (religeous)

Sleep paralysis has been describe by people in the past as an “old hag” spirit that drains your life force out or often described as the devil standing on your bare hairy ass looking at you and holding you. This of course has frightening people over the years, it’s the fact that you’re living in your own nightmare, but maybe just maybe this might be true. Several people over the years have describe the feelings of ghost hands holding them so they won’t move, breathe and even somehow block your morning wood.

symptoms:

  • Episodes of isolated sleep paralysis last from a few seconds to 1 or 2 minutes in which the person is unable to move or speak.
  • Paralysis: occurs after waking up or just before falling asleep. You cannot move any body part, aside from involuntary movements such as blinking and breathing. The brain paralyzes the muscles to prevent possible injury during dreams, as some body parts may move during dreaming. If the person wakes up suddenly, the brain may still think that it is dreaming, and sustains the paralysis.
  • Hallucinations: Images or sounds that appear during the episode.The sensation that someone is standing beside you (sensing an evil presence)or somewhere close by in the room.Strange sounds.
  • Some people feel a heavy weight on their chest, as if they are being sat on.
  • Sleep paralysis may leave you feeling frightened, especially if you also see or hear things that aren’t really there.
  • Sleep paralysis may happen only once, or you may have it frequently — even several times a night.
  • Some people may also feel pressure, being crushed or a sense of choking.
  • believe they are about to die.  people having visions on the brink of death – what are now called “near-death experiences”.
  • Some sleep paralysis episodes come with feelings of falling, floating, rising off the bed or dissociating from the body.
  • out-of-body experiences, such as flying along a tunnel towards a heavenly light.
  • sometimes accompanied by “autoscopy” when they look down on themselves
  • sensations of floating, flying, falling or leaving one’s body. It ranges from relatively tranquil floating experiences to horrible feelings of falling or rising at high speed.
  • Sleep paralysis may accompany other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an overpowering need to sleep caused by a problem with the brain’s ability to regulate sleep.
  • Immediately after an episode of sleep paralysis you may feel unsettled and anxious.
  •  Some see things that their afraid of in an awake state of mind, (such as spiders, bees, snakes, ect.) and other’s see things that would be classified as Paranormal, (such as ghost, aliens, strange balls of light, ect.)

causes: several factors have been identified that may increase the chances of having an episode:

  • Sleeping in a face upwards or supine position
  • Irregular sleeping schedules; naps, sleeping in, sleep deprivation
  • Increased stress
  • Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes
  • A lucid dream that immediately precedes the episode.

when it occurs?:  http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-paralysis

  • Sleep paralysis usually occurs at one of two times. If it occurs while you are falling asleep, it’s called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. If it happens as you are waking up, it’s called hypnopompic or postdormital sleep paralysis.

    What Happens With Hypnagogic Sleep Paralysis?

    As you fall asleep, your body slowly relaxes. Usually you become less aware, so you do not notice the change. However, if you remain or become aware while falling asleep, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

    What Happens With Hypnopompic Sleep Paralysis?

    During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM. Your eyes move quickly and dreams occur, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your muscles are “turned off” during REM sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

what makes it scary:

http://www.livescience.com/27621-sleep-paralysis-scary.html

  • Imagine waking up to find you can’t move a muscle. It’s dark, but you’re sure you feel a presence in the room, hovering near your bed — or perhaps sitting on your chest, crushing the breath out of you.
  • Believing that sleep paralysis is brought on by the supernatural, on the other hand, makes people feel more unnerved.
  • a new study finds that understanding why it happens helps people feel less distressed after an episode.

10 Ways to Lessen Sleep Paralysis

http://dreamstudies.org/2011/04/12/10-ways-to-prevent-sleep-paralysis/

  1. Sleep on your side, not your back. The supine position is asking for sleep paralysis, especially if you’ve woken up and are going back to sleep. Try the trick that works for sleep apnea sufferers: place a tennis ball in the pocket of your pajamas to prevent middle-of-the-night roll-overs.
  2. No more night caps or heavy meals before sleep. Alcohol can help you fall asleep, but it also disrupts the sleep cycle. Heavy meals (fats, proteins and sugars) also disrupt sleep.
  3.  Drink herbal tea or a glass of milk instead. Herbals teas like chamomile, lemon balm, and passion flower gently relax the mind. Milk, or a small cottage cheese snack, contains casein proteins that increases melatonin levels.
  4. Wind down before sleep. Give yourself an hour of relaxing time before bed, with soothing music, candles, and/or  your favorite book (especially a book that brings you joy and comfort).
  5. Turn off electronics too. Watching TV, playing video games, and texting before bed is linked with greater sleep disruption.
  6. Reduce or eliminate caffeine in your diet. Everyone knows it can impede sleep, but caffeine—and withdrawal—also increase anxiety.
  7. Get more sleep. One of the greatest predictors of isolated sleep paralysis (those who don’t have narcolepsy or sleep apnea) is sleep debt. If you aren’t getting more than seven hours of sleep throughout the 24 hour day, chances are you are in sleep debt. In particular, REM sleep deprivation increases the chances, and it’s REM sleep that usually takes the hit when we get six or less hours sleep a night.
  8. Stick with it. However you sleep—all at once in the night, or a long lay down at night with a shorter nap during the day—stick your sleep schedule.  Your circadian rhythm will thank you, and your stress levels will plummet.
  9. Try meditation. A simple breathing mediation of watching the breath is one of the fastest and most effective ways of reducing general anxiety without medication. Recent studies suggest the effects of meditation can be seen in the brain within a couple weeks. The brain is plastic, but we have to train it.
  10. Journal your nightmares. It may seem counter-intuitive, but journaling your sleep paralysis nightmares can give you psychological distance. Date your entries and give each one a title. Over time, these valuable reports can help you see patterns regarding when you’re most likely to have SP (seasonally, weekly, menstrual, work-related etc). This record will also be a great clue to learning about what works during the sleep paralysis encounter in terms of waking up, losing your fear, and even facing the uncanny attacker.

Techniques for Transforming Sleep Paralysis into a Lucid Dream

http://dreamstudies.org/2011/02/08/3-techniques-for-transforming-sleep-paralysis-into-a-lucid-dream/

1. Be Here Now

This method is about imagining where you want to be, and opening your eyes to that reality.  After you have centered yourself, close your eyes. (Your eyes may actually be closed already while you are in SP because you may be dreaming the bedroom scene without knowing it. In either case, closing the eyes is a psychological step towards moving inward.) Notice how the strange floating sensations continue, and relax into them.

Now draw up your intention and make a declaration. For example, “I want to fly over the ocean!” Rather than imagining yourself traveling there, imagine yourself here, at the ocean, right now.  If you are still in the dream state, the dream will emerge from the darkness of your closed eyes. The dream will actually crystallize around you until it seems as real as waking life. Remind yourself, “I’m dreaming,” and notice how clear your mind feels, how real the sensations feel, and how bright the colors are.

2. Enter the Vortex

Close your eyes, and focus your attention in between and slightly above the eyes. When the lights and imagery begin to swim around, keep the focus. After a while, the spectral lights will “gather” around your point of concentration, like a kaleidoscope. Keep the focus, but will yourself to enter this imagery. With practice, if you are still in REM during sleep onset, the imagery will expand and envelope the visual field. This imagery forms a vortex and often is associated with feelings of falling or flying. Go through the tunnel and enter the dream. When you’re in the tunnel, you can set an additional intention about where you want to visit, or you can just wait and see where you emerge. Both will have some surprises.

3. Go with the Flow

This is one of my favorites. Instead of using intentionality (or prospective memory, as Stephen LaBerge calls our remembered desires during lucid dreaming), just go where you are pushed. For example, I often get sleep paralysis when sleeping on my stomach in the late mornings when my sleep is characterized by long REM periods and light sleep. I’ll feel the pressure and gravity pushing me down. I just “pull” where I’m pushed. This is the concept ofwu wei in traditional Taoism, defined as “effortless action.”

Often this method causes my perceptual body to melt through the mattress and into a vast empty space in the dreamworld. It’s similar to the lucid dreaming void encountered when going into mirrors or walls during lucid dreaming. From here, I can set an intention, or float around without a dreambody and enjoy the amazing geometric imagery. Sometimes I wake up, and other times, the dream will recrystallize around me.

What to Do During Sleep Paralysis

  • Focus on body movement. You may find that you are able to move a part of your body (often your toes, fingers, or tongue) to force yourself to a fully waking state.
  • Focus on eye movement. Your ability to open your eyes and look around is generally not hindered by sleep paralysis. Some people recommend rapidly moving their eyes back and forth to break the paralyzed state
  • Focus on breathing. Controlled breathing can be an excellent relaxation technique.
  • Imagine yourself moving. Some people intentionally induce a sleep-paralysis state to induce what they believe to be out-of-body experiences. Imagining oneself moving effortlessly from the body may be a pleasant alternative to sleep paralysis.

Folkore of Sleep Paralysis:

Over the centuries, symptoms of sleep paralysis have been described in many ways and often attributed to an “evil” presence: unseen night demons in ancient times, the old hag in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and alien abductors. Almost every culture throughout history has had stories of shadowy evil creatures that terrify helpless humans at night. People have long sought explanations for this mysterious sleep-time paralysis and the accompanying feelings of terror.

these websites talks about the folklore and supernatural believes:

http://dreamstudies.org/2010/10/29/the-ghosts-goblins-and-vampires-of-sleep-paralysis/

http://www.thesleepparalysisproject.org/about-sleep-paralysis/culture-and-history/

A Short Film: Devil In The Room

from the sleep paralysis project : http://sleepparalysisproject.wordpress.com/

https://www.behance.net/gallery/Sleep-Paralysis-A-Testimony/6146009 This book is about a dream that she had during sleep paralysis. 

another book of sleep paralysis:

http://jihyunham.com/2010/06/21/sleep-paralysis/ 

Below is a website of a photographer recreates his vision during his sleep-paralysis from his  journal. http://io9.com/a-victim-of-sleep-paralysis-recreates-his-visions-in-ph-1528022524?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_facebook&utm_source=io9_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow A victim of sleep-paralysis recreates his visions in photographsanother project of sleep paralysis: combinations of photographs and paintings http://www.coroflot.com/joanrueca/ASP-Awareness-During-Sleep-Paralysis

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